As a favored camp, important in Mexico's relations with early Texas. Visited June 1832 by Matamoros citizens on their way to compliment Irish settlers with a feast at Banquete Lake, 25 miles to the north. Gen. Juan Urrea camped here Feb. 25, 1836, with his unit of Santa Anna's invading army. With him were several persons who became agents of mercy to the Texans-- a famous Mexican woman known as "The Angel of Goliad"; Col. Francisco Garay, and Lt. Col. Juan Holsinger. But also with Urrea was Lt. Col. Jose de La Portilla, who under orders from Gen. Santa Anna carried out the 1836 Palm Sunday Massacre at Goliad.
The Mexicans left Santa Gertrudis to fight Texans at San Patricio, Agua Dulce, Refugio, and Coleto. Santa Gertrudis soon afterward saw Mexican armies in retreat. Gen. Urrea returned here in May, heading south. Gen. Vicente Filisola and other officers also returned here June 11, as aftermath of defeat of the Mexican army at San Jacinto. With them were 4,500 soldiers, throngs of camp followers, numerous fleeing Negro slaves, thousands of draft and cavalry horses, and even herds of captured range cattle. The camp at Santa Gertrudis was used often after 1830's by soldiers of Texas and the United States.